September 2011: Cauliflower

Over a year ago, my colleague was eating her lunch and it smelled amazing. She showed me her Tupperware container and I remarked, “Oh, I love garlic mashed potatoes!” It turned out that she was not eating mashed potatoes; she had “fauxtatoes”: cauliflower disguised as mashed potatoes. From that day forward, I began a new love for cauliflower.

Growing up, I only ever encountered this vegetable in its raw form, cut into small pieces and served with ranch dressing (the version you get in a vegetable and dip trays from the grocery store when you did not have time to make something decent for an office potluck). I also encountered cauliflower in a bland, steamed version, as part of a group of carrots and peas from the freezer aisle in the grocery store.

Cauliflower, fortunately, can be cooked in a number of ways, bringing me lots of Vitamin C and A as well as a smile. The garlic mashed potato version of cauliflower is my favourite form of cauliflower, thus far, so let me pay it forward: a legacy from my lovely former colleagues Thea and Jolene (who are now in New Zealand and Australia, respectively).

Here’s to this oddly beautiful, nutrient-packed flower vegetable that is growing locally right now. Visit your local farmer’s market or grocery store, to pick up some cauliflower as it lies there quietly waiting for you to take it home, wash it and disguise it into your next family meal!

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken up into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I prefer sea salt)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle a little olive oil over the garlic head, wrap it in aluminum foil, then put it in the oven for an hour. Cut it in half and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  4. Add the cauliflower and cook until it is very tender (approximately 10 minutes)
  5. Drain the cauliflower, then add the oil, salt and pepper and cauliflower in the pot.
  6. Squeeze the softened garlic cloves from the head of garlic.
  7. Mash it all together and enjoy!

I also love the look of this recipe for roasted cauliflower with garlic and mint, which I am hoping to try this weekend!

If you have a great cauliflower recipe of your own, please share it in the comments section and you will be entered to win in our monthly draw for a $20 gift card to UBC Food Services!

3 Responses to “September 2011: Cauliflower”

  1. Jolene says:

    Love the cauliflower mash! it’s my mission to trick my ‘meat and potatoes’ boyfriend into eating it unknowingly.

  2. Jolene says:

    I mix the cauliflower using a blender to make them really smooth and adding a little grated cheese on top and seasoning salt makes a great taste-a-like to the keg mashed potatoes.

  3. Eilis says:

    Yum – can’t wait to try this. I love cauliflower but am always interested in new ways of cooking it. Thanks

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Oranges Every month, the Healthy UBC Blog highlights a locally available food, and gives you a recipe or two to try out.  This month, read all about mandarin oranges, rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and folate.

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